Travel

Battling through winter – and a return to my magnificent Italy

Let me start this post by apologising to all my lovely followers for being absent from our blogging world the last few weeks. I’ve been unwell, a nasty winter virus that seems to have lasted an age. Have you ever had a cough that you thought would never leave you??!

Fortunately we’re in our final week of winter in New Zealand. September heralds the beginning of spring. It may take a while for the temperatures to start rising but at least there are lighter mornings and evenings to enjoy in the meantime.

So how does one boost themselves after battling through winter and the horrible bugs that come with it? Well, my husband and I decided to sit down at the laptop and book a holiday. Always a sure way to lift my spirits.

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A crash course in food photography – and a girls’ weekend in Wellington

It’s been some time since I’ve had a weekend away with a girlfriend. I was happily reminded recently just what a great time is to be had.

A few months ago I came across a short weekend course offered at Le Cordon Bleu on Food Photography. Immediately I was interested – until I read the equipment required.

Enter my friend Svea. As an enthusiastic amateur photographer I was certain she’d be able to assist. Sure enough, she had all the equipment on the list, was more than happy to loan me what I needed and even decided she’d like to come along.

And so a girls’ weekend in Wellington was organised. By the end of the day we had a place on the course, flights booked, and rooms at a fabulous hotel. What more could you ask for?

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Sydney, Australia – two perfect days in this fabulous city . . .

So, what’s a girl to do when her husband announces that he has a training conference to attend in Sydney?

Well, this girl immediately says, “can I tag along?”

Which is how I found myself winging my way to Australia only a month after returning from Melbourne. Except this time the destination was Sydney. It’s a city I know well and one that holds many good memories. In my mid-twenties I made the break and left New Zealand to live abroad. Sydney seemed a good place to start. I knew I liked the city and it was close to home (just in case it all went wrong).

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A weekend in Melbourne – day 3

And so we come to the last day of our weekend in Melbourne. If I’d thought the first two days were fantastic, day three only got better. Perhaps it helped that it was my birthday, which always makes the day feel a little special. But this was definitely a birthday like no other. One of the best ever, if not the best.

Brunch with friends seemed a great way to start the day. Our friends Karen and Craig recommended the café – Dr Morse Bar & Eatery in Abbotsford, which is only 2 kms east of Melbourne’s CBD. Easy to get to by train or a short taxi ride.

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A weekend in Melbourne – day 2

If you read my post from last week then you’ll know I’m completely in love with Melbourne. And that happened on day 1. Day 2 only strengthened my opinion of this fabulous city.

Considering the backbone of any holiday for me is the food it will come as no surprise that day 2 was kicked off with breakfast. We decided to go with a recommendation – thank you Karen! – and walked down to the river to have breakfast at The Arbory. Continue reading

A weekend in Melbourne – day 1

Melbourne, Australia. A city that lays claim to many accolades – the cultural capital of Australia, a culinary hotspot, first-class shopping; not to mention having been voted the world’s most liveable city on more than one occasion.

Let me tell you  – the praise is well deserved.

If you’re following my blog then you’ll know I travelled with my husband to Melbourne for the Easter weekend. I consider myself to be a well-travelled person but surprised myself at how excited I was to be “crossing the ditch” (which is how we Kiwis refer to making the short trip from New Zealand to Australia).

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Melbourne Calling!

I have always loved the Easter holiday. For me it has a wonderfully festive feel about it without the stress and craziness that comes with Christmas.

When I was a child we would often go camping for the long weekend. If Easter came in March the weather would often still be good. I have lovely memories of waking to the smell of my mother toasting hot cross buns. Dishing out the Easter eggs was my father’s job and he usually did this on Friday so we had them for the weekend.

This year Easter comes later in mid April. I’m more than happy with the late arrival as it coincides with my birthday. It’s been a while since my birthday fell over the Easter weekend. Seemed as good a reason as any to do something special.

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The wonder of walking at first light

As a child I didn’t live close to the ocean, although growing up in New Zealand I was never far from it. It’s easy to take things for granted about your own country, but I’m happy to say that the ocean and its proximity is not something I’ve ever taken for granted. I know how lucky I am.

After all, there are many people in the world who have never even seen the ocean. That’s a hard one for me to comprehend.

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Favourite posts of 2016 – and my love affair with Italy

I first posted on this blog back in February 2016, almost a year ago. I had no idea at the time that I would come to love it so much or how big a part of my life it would become.

Nor could I have imagined how much I would enjoy being a part of such a fantastic blogging community. I’m constantly surprised and inspired by the talent and creativity shared by my fellow bloggers.

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